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Picture of Fire Extinguisher Inspection

A properly working extinguisher could save a life, maybe even yours. Everyone should know how to perform fire extinguisher inspections. They should be completed on a monthly basis whether at home and in the workplace. Monthly inspections will ensure the fire extinguisher will operate as directed in the event of an emergency. When completed, you should be able to perform a fire extinguisher inspection on common types of extinguishers. The importance of this training is to ensure you are familiar with fire extinguishers and have a working, serviceable extinguisher if / when you are in an emergency.


  • Do not use a fire extinguisher that has been damaged or punctured. The contents are under pressure and a damaged or corroded cylinder could explode.
  • Ensure you receive proper training prior to operating a fire extinguisher.
  • There are different types of extinguishers for different types of fires. It is important to use the proper type extinguisher for your work environment.

Extinguisher Types

How a fire should be extinguished depends on the type of fuel that is feeding the fire. A fire needs three things in order to burn: oxygen, heat, fuel. Listed below are the most common types of extinguishers and what fuel they are designed to extinguish. There are some

  • Type A: extinguishes solids such as paper and wood
  • Type B: extinguishes liquid and gases
  • Type C: extinguishes electrical equipment
  • Type D: extinguishes combustible metals
  • Type K: extinguishes oils and fats


In order to complete a fire extinguisher inspection, here are some materials you will/may need:

  • Fire extinguisher to be inspected
  • Inspection or maintenance tag (template provided at Step: 9)
  • Safing pin
  • Safety tag

For a replacement fire extinguisher or parts, contact your local fire department or one of the sites listed below. If your local fire department does not provide fire extinguisher services, they can point you to somewhere that does.

Step 1: Knowing Your Fire Extinguisher

Picture of Knowing Your Fire Extinguisher

Before inspecting your fire extinguisher, it is important to know the terminology of the parts being inspected. Above is a diagram of a common combination ABC fire extinguisher. An ABC fire extinguisher is able to be used on fires of types A, B, and C (A: wood/paper, B: flammable liquids and gases, and C: electrical).

gm2801 year ago

Yes we all walk by fire extingishers daily and usually never give them a second thought. I am presently looking to replace a few of ours now. I have to ask, why is there a zip tie on the removeable pin in one of the pictures? Doesn't that keep it from being used readily? I would certainly remove that zip tie at once.

Same. I’d rather pull the pin by accident then not be able to use it in an emergency (this is coming from a pyromaniac).

C1one1 year ago

Thanks for the info, I guess I need to check and be sure I have the correct type near my fireplaces and in the kitchen!


Good to know information. This is something that is really easy to overlook if you are not paying attention.